Subhashree Tanima Nayak’s collection of poetry “Shadow of a dream speck” is pleasant to read. Browsing through the poems in the collection is like walking through the shady corridors of a jungle lined with flowering trees whose intoxicating beauty is a feast for the eyes, when the outer part staggers under the double onslaught of heat and humidity. ‘humidity. Below, like the zigzag and uneven path one follows, it is symbolic of the course of life which gives many bumpy rides with surprising twists corroborating the views of Virginia Woolf: “Life is not a series of concert lamps arranged symmetrically…”. we have finished reading the poems, it is no longer difficult to find the poet behind the mask.
The poet is affected by the little things he encounters. She takes things from life situations, mixes them with what she has drawn from life lived so far. As she is rooted in the earth and never cut off from it, her poems are enriched with life experiences. She is devastated when she discovers that a girl or woman is being abused by an indifferent patriarchy that takes her for granted and openly denies her due. Such ideas find an echo in poems like: “A girl”, “For a girl”, “A woman”, “A married village girl”.
A cardinal rule of patriarchy is that a woman cannot do whatever she wants. She must be subjected to scrutiny throughout her life – every utterance she makes must be deconstructed and critiqued. As she is treated with contempt by the male-dominated society, she is also portrayed as contemptible. She is like a puppet that rises and falls like a bird from birth to death. She remains neither master of her body nor of her mind. When a girl steps out of her house, insecurity threatens and she faces mocking hostility and cat-like screams.
Such a condition is imposed on her, which she never wanted. This was beautifully articulated in the poem “For the Girl”. However, when a woman’s tolerance comes to an end, she stands up and assumes the posture of a virago to protect her self-esteem. In Indian tradition, love and longing, as well as the pain of separation, have inspired poetry and art. In accordance with this, love remains the pillar of this collection of poetry. The love expressed here is the artistic expression of the poet’s love. Thus the poet never disdains physical love. The poet is young and full of beans. But she’s not cocky or impulsive about it. No doubt she’s passionate, but she’s not determined to get caught up in the warmth of youth like the youngsters portrayed in WB Yeats’ ‘Sailing to Byzantium’ where they are ‘in the arms of one another’. other”, “to their song”, and caught up in the “sensual music”. His poems are the artistic expressions of his inner feelings and desires for the lover, similar to Kalidash’s “Meghdootam”. The poet’s passion is articulated with an art and a know-how so easy that the personal elements are transcended to become universal. It is a characteristic of good poetry because readers find the reflection of their thoughts and feelings in these poems. However, the poet does not remain obsessively stuck in the level of physical experience. She takes it as a springboard to take a leap to reach a metaphysical level where the self is transcendental.
The poem “Father” is an awe-inspiring tribute in laudatory terms to a father in recognition of his sacrifice for children and his tenacity in meeting family responsibilities. He is like a camel that is on his knees day after day. He only gives to the family, although he has nothing to gain from it. A father has the depth of an ocean, calm, serene and peaceful.
A creative writer puts the essence of themselves into their work. And for a poet, poetry is the sublimation of the finest thoughts put into words. In order not to let herself be beaten down by the vagaries of life, she slips into a dream. However, the size of this one is not large; it is, on the contrary, as small as a point where small is large and small is more. In life, too much reality is unbearable, because, in the words of TS Eliot, “humanity cannot bear much reality”. So escaping from it quietly for a while is a wise thing. A dream in itself is physically non-existent and unreal. And to imagine that the shadow of it gives a cushion like softness is surreal at best. But that’s not the furthest from the truth. However, it carries within it a possibility as vast as an ocean of unfathomable depth. Although seemingly simple and unpleasant, it is, in the words of Virginia Woolf, “complex and manifold.” Moreover, since it is not extracted from the past and the present can influence the future, it is, to use the language of Walt Whitman, “I contain multitudes”. Thus, through love and a dream, the poet embarked on a new path of self-discovery.
His poems are unequivocal and simple as the truth that assumes darkness over unnecessary analysis. Yet with stark similes and startling imagery, they have an inexhaustible Cleopatra-like appeal that instead of sickening “gives hunger where it satisfies most.” Like the sweet scent of airborne flowers in a garden, love and desires permeate his poems taking them to a distinctly lyrical level.
(Subhashree Tanima Nayak, holder of an MSC in Chemistry, has written a number of poems in Odia and English. She is the winner of several awards)